Islamic Development Bank funds youth economic initiatives in the West Bank – UNDP press release

USD 2 million for Youth Economic Initiatives in the West Bank Funded by Islamic Development Bank through UNDP

Aug 2, 2016

Ramallah, 02 August 2016 – The Ministry of Social Development, the Higher Council for Youth and Sports and UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People launched a tripartite partnership, worth USD 2.1 million from the Islamic Development Bank, to support youth economic initiatives in the West Bank.

H.E. Dr Al Sha’ar, Minister of Social Development, explained that the Ministry is undergoing a strategic transformation towards planning and sustainable development and response. “ This partnership will empower youth through education and skills develoment, improve their livelihoods economically and socially and prevent them from slipping into poverty,” he added.

The project, which is within the framework of UNDP’s Productive Families Economic Empowerment Programme (DEEP), will model new economic empowerment initiatives designed to target youth through microfinance, grants and job placements. Around 300 young people from the West Bank will be targeted at the initial phase, with a total of 2000 to benefit over a two-year period.

Major General Jibrl Rajoub, President of Higher Council for Youth and Sports highlighted that youth represent the hope and future of the Palestinian State and it is the responsibility of Palestinian institutions and bodies, governmental and non-governmental to create an enabling environment for them to develop and live a dignified life.

The support will be divided into three categories; (1) soft loans to establish income-generating projects for youth entrepreneurs in marginalized areas; (2) grants to establish income generating projects for youth from deprived families, combined with psychosocial services for members of these families, and (3) developmental employment targeting youth at local institutions in general, and the Higher Council for Youth and Sports in particular.

Mr Roberto Valent, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator highlighted that youth constitute over one third of the Palestinian population and represent a staggering amount of human potential. “Many youth are trapped in poverty, with few opportunities to earn a decent living,” said Mr Valent. “Unemployment reached around 43% among Palestinian youth. We see this partnership as an opportunity to tune in the direction of youth economic empowerment and open new horizons for effective interventions that create noticeable impact on vulnerable communities,” he added.

The project is expected to bridge the gap between youth and stakeholders represented in government, private sector and NGOs, and create a unique model of constructive engagement between them. The project also compliments other UNDP programmes that support national efforts to empower youth economically and socially in the State of Palestine. It is worth noting that UNDP recently signed a USD 5 million agreement, also funded by the Islamic Development Bank, with the Ministry of Labour to implement a rapid employment generation project that will benefit atleast 2500 Palestinian youth in the Gaza Strip.      

Contact Information

Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: For more information on UNDP/PAPP see


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